No Hiccups. Online Shopping Off To A Good Start

By most estimates, 2010 will be a record year for online sales during the all-important months of November and December (collectively known as the holiday season.) And so far, things are off to a rocking start. While it is too soon to say how many dollars are changing hands – comScore predicts a 13 percent jump in online sales during the 2010 holiday season, with web shoppers ringing up $32.4 billion versus $29.1 billion during holiday season of 2009.

Akamai, (s akam) the Cambridge, Mass.-based content distribution company has been monitoring the traffic to various retail sites, and so far they are seeing strong growth. According to the data collected by the CDN, today at 11.30 AM (eastern) retail sites were generating about 1.338 million page views per minute on a global basis. In North America alone, the retail websites were generating 1.1095 million page views per minute at 1 PM (eastern.) These are today’s traffic highs, according to Akamai, which tracks about 270 global retail/e-commerce websites.

So far, there haven’t been any major glitches reported on Black Friday, Gomez Advisors, a web performance measurement company, noted in an email to us. According to Gomez, it is because traditional websites have been ready for the season by ramping up their infrastructure, and they are not making any massive site changes during this critical period. In addition, Gomez notes that people will be turning to mobile devices for their shopping this year, even though the mobile web experience isn’t comparable to the PC experience. So far, Gomez found that shoppers seem to be pretty happy with their online retail experience.

This year is looking better than last at the start of the shopping season. According to comScore, U.S. online sales during first 21 days of November were $9.01 billion versus $7.95 billion during the first 21 days of 2009. The Chase Paymentech’s Pulse Index, which measures same-store growth at 50 major online retailers, has seen a 21 percent year-over-year growth through November 22, 2010. The total numbers of transactions were up 36 percent during the first twenty days of November alone. According to J.P. Morgan, the first 20 days of November 2009 represented 25 percent of 2009 total holiday season sales.

I will update these numbers and other relevant data over the weekend, as I gather more information.

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